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Old 05-01-2019, 02:30 AM   #1
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Towing with a Metris Van

Hi everyone! My wife and I have a 2018 Metris Passwnher Van with 5,000 lbs tow capacity. Anyone else driving the Metris?

When traveling, we may have up to 4 adults and our beagle, 2k watt generator and gasoline, about 50 pounds of provide for my wife’s juicing, about 30 ponds dslr camera equipment, plus water. I haven’t weighed everything but I think these are the heavier items.

Would it be feasible to even consider the Escape 21’? I noticed the 21’ is only a few hundred pounds more than the 19’. I understand climbing hills and mountains might be challenging.
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:22 AM   #2
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I'd be real hesitant to tow a 4500 lb (max) trailer with a FWD 2.2 liter minivan rated for max 5000 lb tow, especially if you plan longer trips. relatively short trips would probably be ok

Ive not seen a Metris in person, but the pics, the rear bumper looks pretty low... you need a 19" or so ball height for the Escape to ride level, a riser like that could well block the van's tailgate from opening. Presumably if it can tow 5000, its equipped with a class III 2" reciever? Do they allow use of a weight distributing hitch? without one, dropping 500 lbs tongue weight off the rear bumper could well make for a nasty ride. Do they come wired for a 7-blade RV connector and provision for a brake controller? This isn't insurmountable if they don't but modern Mercedes chassis electronics are pretty complicated, I'd be worried about a trailer installer butchering things.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:36 AM   #3
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Metris

Infinity,
We get similar questions fairly frequently on this forum.

Presumably if the vehicle is rated for 5000 lbs, some engineer somewhere has tried it and the radiator doesn't overheat on a moderate grade, the 253 lb/ft of torque can keep it at 50 mph on a certain uphill grade. An adequate brake controller is essential, too.

We towed the first 20,000 miles with our slightly lighter 2014 model 21' Escape with a 4Runner with 283 lb/ft of torque. I won't say it was a struggle, but it was a constant concern, and I added a readout to monitor transmission, oil, and coolant temps.

I'd get the 21 Escape, but know in the back of your mind, that the wise course would be to plan for a new tow vehicle as time and money permit.

The question is how well will your tow vehicle handles the situation when the semi swooshes past going 80, when the deer jumps out, or when the semi going the other direction loses a wheel and it comes bounding at you. All have happened this year.

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Old 05-01-2019, 08:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
I'd be real hesitant to tow a 4500 lb (max) trailer with a FWD 2.2 liter minivan rated for max 5000 lb tow, especially if you plan longer trips. relatively short trips would probably be ok

Ive not seen a Metris in person, but the pics, the rear bumper looks pretty low... you need a 19" or so ball height for the Escape to ride level, a riser like that could well block the van's tailgate from opening. Presumably if it can tow 5000, its equipped with a class III 2" reciever? Do they allow use of a weight distributing hitch? without one, dropping 500 lbs tongue weight off the rear bumper could well make for a nasty ride. Do they come wired for a 7-blade RV connector and provision for a brake controller? This isn't insurmountable if they don't but modern Mercedes chassis electronics are pretty complicated, I'd be worried about a trailer installer butchering things.
Thanks for your response John. Actually the Metris is RWD. Interesting right? Wish it was AWD but it does drive quite nicely with the paddle shifters. The 2.0-liter engine is capable of delivering 210 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Most of the time we plan for only 2 adults and a dog. Maybe 1-2 months we plan to have my in-laws join us. We were almost set on a 19’ until I saw that the 21’ being not significantly heavier.

A member of the Metris forums has been doing full time with his Metris towing a 22’ airstream supplemented with the brake controller and equalizer hitch. Although he is the only one that has done it that I know of. A few other Metris owners have the 16 sport and nest. Haven’t seen a Metris Escape combo yet.

We opted for the Metris barn style doors. Although with a hitch and receiver attached, I doubt the doors will open but that’s fine. We have sliding side doors.

Ours is equipped with the tow package. I do still need to figure out if the 7pin rv connecter will have any issues with a brake controller. It appears to be an issue for some Metris owners.

Daniel
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:55 PM   #5
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well, if the factory tow package supplied a 7 blade, presumably the 'brake' signal on that is wired to a connector somewhere near the drivers side of the dashboard, thats where you plug in a brake controller, if the Metris doesn't already have one built in....

ah, browsed some metris forums, apparently the brakes are NOT wired, they just put a 7-blade connector on a 4-wire (lights only) system. ugh. you can use the Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake controller, which doesn't require ANY under-dash wiring.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:14 AM   #6
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Thank you John! I’m arranging with someone locally within 75 miles to see the escape 19’ next weekend. Would love to get the 21’ but I think the 300lbs+ difference will make a difference. Really don’t want to go smaller than the 19’. We are working out the options at the moment. We do have the Metris tow package and confirmed what you said is correct about the brake lights.

In terms of accessories, it looks like I’ll be needing the following:

Tekonsha RF Prodigy wireless brake controller

Andersen Camper Leveler

Equal-i-zer 4-point sway

I’m not sure which trailer ball hitch to consider. Do you have a recommendation?
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:22 PM   #7
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measure the height of the reciever. midline on my f250 is about 18". The trailer should ride level when the top of the hitch ball is about 19", which means the hitch mounting plate on the tow bar is about 16", so I use a towbar that has about 2" of drop from the centerline to the top of the plate that the ball mounts on. any 2" ball rated 5000 lbs+ is fine. any class III 2" towbar is fine once you figure out how much drop or rise is optimal.



edit: Wait, your Equal-i-zer *IS* a tow bar. so yuou just need the correct shank for it for the rise/drop you need.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:24 PM   #8
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As John noted earlier, the Metris has a very low receiver, due to the low load floor of the van. That's not unusual for vans - my Sienna is only 11" to the top of the receiver opening, so I need to use a ball mount with rise (ball base higher than receiver) with almost any trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
... I use a towbar that has about 2" of drop from the centerline to the top of the plate that the ball mounts on.
So that would be a 3" drop.

"Drop" in ball mounts and WD shanks (which are just part of specialized two-piece ball mounts) is normally measured from the top of the receiver opening (not the middle) to the level on which the base of the ball sits. When reading the specs published by towing equipment manufacturers, that's what the drop dimension will indicate.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:15 PM   #9
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realized my f250 wasn't parked on level ground when I measured it last night. top of my tow ball is 18" off the ground, top of my reciever is 17"... this truck drops very little when I put my ~450 tongue weight on it, a minivan likely will drop quite a bit more, but the equalizer will level things back out.
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